UMF picks up 6-5 season opening win over Elms

UMF picks up 6-5 season opening win over Elms

HOLYOKE, Mass. -- Senior outfielder Ethan Jean's (Jackson, Maine/Mt. View) two-out single in the top of the ninth plated the game-winning run and lifted the University of Maine at Farmington to a 6-5 win over Elms College, in non-conference baseball action Thursday night at MacKenzie Stadium.

The win was UMaine-Farmington's (1-0) first in a season opener since 2002, when the Beavers posted an 8-2 win over Fisher College on opening day.

Trailing 5-3 through seven innings, UMaine-Farmington pulled to within one run in the top of the eighth when Tom Grady (Whitefield, Maine/Erskine Academy) doubled home Colin Mello (Windham, Maine/Windham) with two outs. Mello got aboard with a leadoff double down the left field line.

Brett Wallingford (Sanford, Maine/Sanford) drew a one-out walk in the top of the ninth, and advanced to second on Zach Keene's (Livermore, Maine/Livermore Falls) ground out to short. Sean Cabaniss (Vassalboro, Maine/Erskine Academy) can on to pinch run for Wallingford, and went to third on a Mello base hit.

Cabaniss scored on an error at shortstop on a Matt Woodbury (Fairfield, Maine/Lawrence) grounder to knot the game at 5-5. That set the table for Jean, whose base hit allowed Mello to cross with the second unearned run of the frame.

Elms (5-6) had jumped out to a 3-0 lead after two innings, before Farmington got on the board with two runs – both off the bat of Mello, who laced a double into left field. The two teams traded single runs in the fifth, and the Blazers added a single run in the seventh to build a two-run lead.

UMF reliever Ian McAlister (Dover, N.H./Marshwood, Maine) picked up the win in relief, pitching the eighth and ninth innings. McAlister struck out five of the eight batters he faced, yielding just one hit and one walk. Senior righthander Casey Ashey (Searsport, Maine/Searsport) got the start, scattering six hits while fanning three Blazers and allowing four runs. Kyle Peterson (Bethel, Maine/Telstar) pitched two innings of middle relief, allowing one run on one hit with one strikeout.

Elms squandered a 10-strikeout performance from starter Thomas Weldon, who surrendered four runs on seven hits and four walks. Reliever Sean Sinnott took the loss, after allowing UMaine-Farmington's two runs in the ninth.

Mello finished the day with a 3-for-4 effort at the plate with two runs scored and two runs batted in. Jean also tallied a pair of hits. Alex King and Stephen Fisher each went 2-for-4 in a losing cause for the Blazers.

UMaine-Farmington returns to Massachusetts on Saturday, March 30, when it faces Fisher College in a doubleheader. First pitch of game one will be at 3:00 p.m.